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At St Mary’s, we aim to inspire pupils to be curious and creative thinkers who develop a complex knowledge of local and national history and the history of the wider world. We want pupils to develop the confidence to think critically, ask questions and be able to explain and analyse historical evidence.


We use the National Curriculum for history as the basis for our curriculum planning, and have related this to the local context. Our school teaches History through a two year cycle of topics which cover a range of themes and eras.  At St Mary’s children will progressively learn about significant events and people in British, European and Non-European History, developing a sense of chronology, historical vocabulary and an appreciation of how things have changed over time. They will understand the present in the context of the past, be introduced to historical enquiry and investigation, through studying historical evidence and will develop the skills of asking questions, analysing, interpreting, evaluating, presenting and problem solving.  In order to prepare pupils for their future learning in History, our curriculum aims to introduce them to key substantive concepts including power, invasion, settlement and migration, empire, civilisation, religion, trade, achievements of humankind, society and culture.  Wherever possible learning in history is linked to overall topics to enable children to add new learning to increasingly complex schemata that demonstrate the inter-relatedness of curriculum content.

To ensure our curriculum is taught to develop cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage we follow the stages outlined below:

1. Substantive knowledge for each subject is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to ensure our children learn cumulatively sufficient knowledge by the end of each Key Stage.

2. Disciplinary knowledge as methods of historical enquiry is mapped from EYFS to Year 6 to enable children to apply their knowledge as skills.

3. Explicit teaching of vocabulary is central to children’s ability to connect new knowledge with prior learning. Teaching identifies Tier 2 words, high frequency words used across content e.g. influence, and Tier 3 words, specific to subject domains e.g. civilisation

4. Spaced retrieval practice, through questioning, quizzes and peer-explanations, further consolidates the transfer of information from working memory to long-term memory. Quizzing etc. are primarily learning strategies to improve retrieval practice – the bringing of information to mind.

5. Use of knowledge organisers and knowledge notes to support children to forge connections between their current learning and the ‘big picture’ of subject content.

Our Early Years Curriculum is carefully planned and implemented to enable children to achieve the Early Learning Goals (ELGs). Through the Understanding the World goal children learn about similarities and differences with images, stories, artefacts and accounts from the past. They organise events using basic chronology and recognise things that happened before they were born.

ELG objectives with history content are mapped against Key Stage 1 objectives to ensure teaching is sequential throughout the school, building upon the children’s prior learning.


  • Our History curriculum ensures that children leave St Mary’s:
  • With knowledge and understanding of key history knowledge as detailed in the National Curriculum for History in KS1 & KS2.
  • Able to use a variety of key vocabulary with which to discuss their historical knowledge and understanding.
  • Who are increasingly critical and analytical within their thinking, making informed and balanced judgements based on their knowledge of the past.
  • Who are increasingly aware of how historical events have shaped the world that they currently live in.
  • With an understanding of key elements of local history.
  • With enquiry skills enable them to pursue their own interests within a topic and further questioning.

Our History curriculum ensures that staff are knowledgeable and skilful teachers able to assess pupils’ learning against our Progression Map objectives.

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